Eating Cheese does not Raise Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke Study Suggests

A new study conducted by a raft of European researchers has suggested that eating cheese does not raise the risk of heart attack or stroke.

This follows a review pooling the results of 29 observational studies regarding the link between dairy consumption and cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.

Having assessed results relating to over one-million people from across the globe, researchers concluded that there is no increased risk of the factors mentioned related to dairy consumption.

In fact, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease was found when eating fermented dairy products, of which cheese is one.

The media has reported strongly on this study, with The Guardian featuring the research in its health pages.

Researchers from Reading University, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands were involved with the study.

It was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal European Journal of Epidemiology and is openly available to access online.

The study was funded by an unrestricted grant from the Global Dairy Platform, Dairy Research Institute and Dairy Australia.

However, despite the obvious problems from this funding source, the researchers indicated that funders were not involved in the study design or any processes involved.

Nonetheless, the fact that groups with such obvious vested interest in the results were involved in funding is obviously troubling.

The researchers concluded that “this meta-analysis combining data from 29 prospective cohort studies showed there were no associations between total dairy, high- and low-fat dairy, milk and the health outcomes including all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.”

And the report goes on to further explain the results discovered by researchers.

“The modest inverse associations of total fermented dairy were found with all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease, but not coronary heart disease. By examining different types of fermented food in relation to CVD, we found marginally inverse association with cheese but not yogurt,” the report noted.

Yet there has been some criticism of the study, apart from the involvement of the dairy industry.

Firstly, any systematic review is entirely dependent on the quality of the underlying studies involved.

Considering unreasonable observational research, it is possible that health and lifestyle factors that have not been accounted for are impacting on results very strongly.

Studies may also have differed in how accurately they measured analysed dairy intake and health outcomes.

Certainly further research is required in order to established the assertions of the study, as there was limited causal evidence for the health outcomes provided by the study.


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